I went into my first neuro appointment completely unprepared, but it went fine. I think most do, tbh. But I'd always recommend being prepared, simply because it can be tricky to remember everything if you aren't!
This is a copy and paste (with a bit of editing) of a post I did a while ago on the same topic. I hope it helps.
These are the things that I think help at a first consultation:
No.1: Be prepared! (It's always best to have something and not need it than need it and not have it!)
- Be able to tell the neuro your medical history, any neurological illnesses in your family (if asked) and your symptoms in a succinct, objective manner. Prepare a list / aide memoire to help you. Do not prepare lists with loads of details over loads of pages: the neuro will most likely only want a topline summary / headlines. If they want more info, they'll ask. A good list will be chronological and focus on the main symptoms. For example, April-May 2008: optic neuritis (recovered); January-March 2009: numbness from waist down (recovered, but residual problems in right leg); September-December 2010 (some recovery): incontinence, spasms in legs, shooting pains in legs; June 2011 (ongoing): terrible fatigue, deterioration in walking, some cognitive difficulties. If there isn't a history like that or this is the first time this kind of thing has happened to you, then stick to a simple explanation – when it started, what the main symptoms have been and how they progressed, if anything has gotten better since. For example, March 2012: woke with tingling in legs. Developed to legs, torso and back over 2 week period. April: extreme fatigue; tingling areas now buzzing, itching and hypersensitive too. Now: all of the above plus blurry eyesight.
- Take a (short) list of questions if you have any.
- Take a list of symptoms that you are struggling with so the neuro can advise re meds or therapy.
No.2: Do not hand over lists unless you really can't talk through things yourself. If you do hand something over, do not speak until the neuro has finished reading it (or asks you a question - once you've answered it, be quiet again if there's more to read). If you are planning on handing anything over, keep a copy for yourself.
No.3: Be honest. Do not exaggerate and do not play things down.
No.4: Take someone with you if you can. It is really helpful to have another pair of eyes and ears there so there's a better chance of remembering what happened and what was said. The other person can also help to jog your memory if needed.
No.5: If the neuro's taking notes of what you're saying, give him enough time to keep up and get things written down properly.
There really is nothing to be concerned about. The goal of an initial consultation is for the neuro to work out what the most feasible explanations for your symptoms are, and to order suitable tests. To do that, he/she needs to know your history and the results of a clinical exam. The only bit that you can help with is the history. So that's your contribution: to provide the information that the neuro needs. This isn't too hard - after all, it's all about you! A list / aide memoire can help to keep you from waffling or missing out something important though.